The mayor of the Dutch capital’s project to close the famous red light district in the city center and replace it with an “erotic center” in the suburbs is causing discussion in Amsterdam. Faced with the prospect of seeing a “huge brothel” a stone’s throw from their homes, hundreds of residents have joined the protest of prostitutes, who want to stay behind their scarlet neon shop windows near the canals of the old town.
Mayor Femke Halsema defends her plan. For their part, prostitutes fear suffering the major consequences of a project aimed at reducing crime and mass tourism in the city centre. “The mayor says we’re just a tourist attraction and people come to make fun of us and humiliate us. That’s not the case,” said one prostitute. Halsema had launched an operation to close the red light windows at 3 in the morning, and no longer at 6, starting from last April 1, causing a hornet’s nest of controversy. The “sex workers”, in fact, fear being attacked and robbed in the middle of the night, once they leave the workplace, full of money and with the whole city closed and sleeping.